Virgin Media and the Advert of Untruths

I’m uploading a file to our FTP server as I type this. And I’m doing so at about 90 KB/s which I am pretty happy with. Especially being that our connection supposedly has a 768 Kb/s upload speed.

NOTE: Pay attention to the uppercase and lowercase KB and Kb here. KB refers to Kilobytes and Kb refers to Kilobits.

I decided to take a look at Virgin Media’s website in-case as a friendly gesture they increased all 20 Mb customers to 1 Mb upload speed, but they haven’t therefore I guess it’s just my lucky day huh, but I digress. While on their site, I saw the advertising for 50 Mb and I would love to be able to have a 50 Mb pipe in my house I must admit, so I was looking at the details – 1.5 Mb upload is very nice I must say, but then I saw this:

Virgin Ad

Who are Virgin trying to pull the wool over with this one? I mean seriously. You can do all of the things they show here with the 10 Mb package or the 20 Mb package without any issues at all. I could probably even run a web server or something at a half decent rate of knots on my 20 Mb connection with the 768 Kb/s upload.

Take  look at our house for example? There is me with my computer which is on pretty much 24/7 doing god only knows what, there is the PowerEdge doing things like persistent anti-virus definition downloads and Windows Update synchronizations, there is Nicky on her laptop doing stuff a lot of the time although it’s mainly just surfing, occasional PS3 online gaming not to mention me on my laptop in the evenings and Jackie or Mick (that’s Nicky’s mum and dad) when they are over sometimes.

The only people who are realistically going to be interested in 50 Mb are the following:

  1. Geeks: Just because
  2. Peer-to-Peer Users: Anything up to 5,120 KB/s download speed (In theory)
  3. Peer-to-Peer Users: Getting that 1:1 seed ration with a 1.5 Mb/s upload speed would be easier

At a stretch, I would possibly say a full-time home worker could do with the upload speed if they are trying to connect to corporate file-shares and copy files around remotely, but I think someone like that could be better off with SDSL.

The only other thing I can think of that would make someone buy 50 Mb over the 10 or the 20 is the modem? Have you seen the modem? It’s so good, I would almost be proud to have it in the front room next to the PlayStation 3 – They would look at home together.


Richard works as a Cloud Consultant for Fordway Solution where his primary focus is to help customers understand, adopt and develop with Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and System Center. Richard Green is an IT Pro with over 15 years' of experience in all things Microsoft including System Center and Office 365. He has previously worked as a System Center consultant and as an internal solutions architect across many verticals. Outside of work, he loves motorbikes and is part of the orange army, marshaling for NGRRC, British Superbikes and MotoGP. He is also an Assistant Cub Scout Leader.

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